Sony is creating a new internal company to produce mobile games and apps, the entertainment conglomerate announced on Thursday.
The new subsidiary, ForwardWorks, will officially deploy on Apr. 1, the same day Sony Computer Entertainment’s region-specific divisions will merge into a singular entity called Sony Interactive Entertainment. ForwardWorks will fall under the SIE banner, and will operate under the supervision of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan president Atsushi Morita.
The announcement outlined ForwardWorks’ mission thusly: “ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters as well as the knowledge and know-how of gaming development expertise which was acquired over the years with PlayStation business to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices including smartphones to users in Japan and Asia.” The announcement specified iOS and Android-based smart devices as the focus.
The new company will be based in Tokyo and will start with operating capital of 10 million yen, or just under $1 million. The announcement did not specify if ForwardWorks will be producing mobile software itself or just act as a funnel to the mobile ecosystem for games developed by other Sony subsidiaries.
Sony, being a massive global tech conglomerate, is also in the business of smartphones and tablets. In 2011 it released a line of gaming-focused devices that landed with a thud. Of particular note was that Xperia Play phone, which featured a slide-out gamepad and a dedicated app marketplace called PlayStation Mobile. That marketplace was also accessible via Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld gaming platform, but was shut down last year.